Reps for the Nebraska Tourism Commission (NTC) have likened the Cornhusker State to a metaphorical “odd kid” in the latest leg of the state’s self-deprecating tourism campaign, which hopes to entice visitors with the searing, sarcastic premise that Nebraska is “honestly not for everyone.”
“Nebraska is kind of like that odd kid – slightly peculiar, but interesting when you spent time with him. Some people won’t spent the time, but maybe you will,” an unseen narrator says in one video, which features a little boy playing a cello alone in a cornfield, a man kissing a woman on the cheek before an abandoned-looking bungalow, a baby staring at a mannequin posed on an antique car frame and a couple dancing before the state’s famed “Carhenge” attraction.
“Nebraska – honestly, it’s not for everyone,” the quick clip concludes.
Though some skeptical social media users say they’re less than thrilled with the new ad, one NTC official claims the crusade is succeeding just as they had intended.
“People love the campaign. They love the humor and the honesty of it,” John Ricks, executive director of the NTC, said in a press release. “Since unveiling 'honestly, it’s not for everyone,' we’ve seen an increase in travel guide requests, website traffic and lodging tax collection. We get frequent requests for mugs and T-shirts and our major travel season is still a couple of months away.”
“So we’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact it has on tourism in Nebraska now that we’re officially advertising the full campaign,” Ricks continued.
Twitter commenters, meanwhile, weren’t so wowed by the “odd kid” campaign.
“This is what happens when the people running Nebraska tourism have no idea what Nebraska is about. What a joke,” one cynic quipped.
“Sitting in a waiting room in Kansas with a tv in the background when all of a sudden a Nebraska tourism commercial pops up. That commercial implied we are weird people who worship carhenge and dance in cornfields,” another agreed.
“Nebraska's Tourism Board needs some help. Who could this possibly convince to visit, let alone in Colorado,” one complained, sharing an image of a billboard.
Officials for the NTC first unveiled the cheeky tourism campaign in October 2018 with a derisive “Nebraska Nice” theme, touting searing slogans such as “There's nothing to do here" and “Famous for our flat, boring landscape” to poke fun at the very virtues the state is often mocked for.